Hands and house

Hands and house

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Risk & Faith...

     I have been slowly working my way through the book of Matthew and something from the very beginning keeps circling back in my mind. It is the response that people had to God speaking....

    When the angel told Mary she was going to be supernaturally with child, her response was..."ok"
     Joseph changed his whole plan immediately because God told him to.

     The wise men saw a star in the sky and dropped everything travelling for months not knowing exactly what they would find. Only that God told them to.

     The shepherds left their flocks, their very livelihood for a few minutes of time before baby Jesus.

They all dropped everything that they were doing, walked away from the things that were comfortable, pleasurable, profitable as soon as God asked.

Mary walked away from a good reputation...
Joseph walked away from the 'perfect picket fence life' that was just at his grasp...
The wisemen left their very homes not knowing if they would return...
The shepherds left the source of income that fed their very families...
They did it without hesitation....

ALL BECAUSE GOD ASKED THEM TO

and they walked in to....
Scorn,
Broken Relationships,
Humility,
Discomfort for themselves and their families,
Finanacial ruin.
They followed without anything in it for themselves.

THEY RISKED EVERYTHING BECAUSE GOD ASKED THEM TO

So the thing that I have been chewing on is the idea of risk...
we live in a culture that really isolates us from risk...
We dictate where we live (the best neighborhoods so our families are safe)
We choose the cars we drive,
the food we eat,
what we watch, read, listen to.
If we choose, we can block out everything painful
and not really have to feel anything unpleasant.

But what is the trade off?

When we close in our borders, we close off the possiblity of risking for God.

What did Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and Shepherds (and so many more...) gain when  they took that giant leap of following what God asked them to do?

THEY GOT TO SEE THE VERY FACE OF GOD

I am fully convinced that God wants more than anything to show us who He is. I am also convinced that He tells us how. If you read through Scripture, really read it, you cannot dismiss how many times we are asked to feed the poor, take care of the widow and the orphan, to love our neighbor, to forgive others...to be reconcilers. It is there over, and over, and over again.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,
he too will cry out and not be answered."
Proverbs 21:13
(there are some strong statements in these Scriptures that I am just beginning to chew on)
It is not there as a "to do" list or as a "pick and choose" list. It is there as God's invitation to come and taste and see what is real and true and deep and so much more alive and fulfilling than sitting in a comfortable risk-free life.

Somewhere along the line...we all started to believe that we were the center of our lives. That what we wanted, what we felt, what we dreamed was what was most important....
That what we wore, drove, ate, lived in showed our 'identity'.
But what Jesus says is:

 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"
Luke 9:23-25

WHAT IF????
We finally stopped letting the idea of  "I deserve, I want, I need" dictate our lives?
 What if it became, Lord what do the poor, the orphan and the widow need?

Because close to 1 Billion people on this planet do not have access to clean water.

Because 147 Million children lay their heads down each night without a family to call their own.

Because each day 25,000 children die from preventable diseases like malnutrition, malaria and respiratory infection.

Because 1 out of 7 people on our planet do not get enough to eat.

"If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied! But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty."
Proverbs 28:27

WHAT DOES IT MEAN???

That my cupboards are full...
That we all have far more than enough clothes...
That our house is bursting with toys (the kids and ours)...
That I spent an hour looking online at bathting suits when I have two that are just fine in my drawer...
That even the homeless in this country have cell phones...

SO WHAT IF???
We stepped out and risked....we know that God has told us to take care of His precious people (ALL people) . What if we risked and let go of the comfortable? What if we risked in that relationship that is uncomfortable? More than just giving up a latte every now and then to help a good cause, but what if we  risked until we got to that place...

The place of needing God to supply our very needs, not our wants but our needs? What if doing whatever God asked right away became the hallmark of our lives? What if that became more important than our reputation, our fears, our homes, our livelihoods?
WHAT IF THERE IS SO MUCH MORE???

I would venture to guess that Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men etc...they did what God said because they loved Him.
Risk can be painful, it can be very scary...
This is all stuff that God has been boiling up in me, I don't have all of the answers. I do know that without a doubt, the times when I have stepped out to follow God's call have been by far the most amazing of my life as well as the most terrifying....and more than anything they have been when I could see God more clearly than ever....and I tell you what,
It leaves me wanting even more.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:16-19

6 comments:

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Beautifully stated.

~Kelly

natali said...

beautiful. just beautiful :))

Tara Anderson said...

This is something that God has been working on in me for awhile now...thanks for shedding some new light on the matter! :)

From all of us with love said...

If you lived near me, I would want you as my spiritual accountability partner. I cannot tell you how much I love when the Holy Spirit uses others to speak directly to me.
Thank you for a timely message!!
Lisa

Jdaniels said...

Sometimes I wish Blogger had a "Like" button like facebook does.

Thank you for those challenging words. It's something I need to be reminded of constantly - to be completely open to however God wants to use me. I'm still failing so often ... but I'm also learning. I pray that one day I truly will be able to drop everything to answer God's call.

. said...

Thanks for sharing this. As a mother of 6 kids, all adopted with special needs ... and the current situation with Manny, my ONLY hope is in God. As I seek His face, I'm always amazed at how He shows up. (Many of us only seek His hands - what He can DO for us.)

Thanks for sharing this link on my blog. It certainly speaks to me.
Beth

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